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US military constructing new base in western Iraq near Syria border: Kurdish official

Muslim Times(Web Desk) -tedly building a new base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar as part of attempts to perpetuate its occupation of the conflict-ridden Arab country indefinitely, regardless of all opposition from religious figures and people from all walks of life.

Khalil Serfan, an official from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the base is being constructed in the vicinity of al-Qa’im town, located nearly 400 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Serfan noted that the construction of such a military site in such a strategically important region is in line with US bids to assert its military presence there.

In August, the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group stated that American forces will remain in Iraq as long as there is a need for them. The announcement runs contrary to Pentagon’s earlier pledges that US troops will withdraw from Iraq once the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group is defeated.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi commander said the youngest son of purported Daesh leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed in Syria.

Jabbar al-Mamouri, a commander of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units, told Arabic-language Baghdad Today news agency that the unnamed high-profile militant was eliminated during a Russian airstrike against a militant hideout in a Syrian village late last week.

Separately, three Daesh Takfiris were killed when Iraqi security forces launched a counter-terrorism operation in the town of al-Qa’im.

Government troops also uncovered a secret tunnel, which the terrorists apparently used to carry munitions and transfer reinforcements to the area and to flee in the wake of army advances.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged on June 30 to hunt down Daesh terrorists across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.

“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.

Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.

On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.

In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

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